"Apologia" means "explanation". In this case, a Greek philosopher who converted to Christianity attempts to explain to Emperor Marcus Aurelius why Christianity is a good thing; or failing that, what Christians believe and do as opposed to what is rumored; and why it was bad for the Empire to persecute Christians just for holding Christian beliefs. The apologia is circa 147-161 A.D. If you're interested at all in history, politics, or religion, this is like a trip in a time... Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1
The Urantia Book presents an integrated world view composed from the concepts and ideas of more than 2,000 individuals who have contributed to the fields of science, philosophy, religion, history, sociology and theology during the last 2,000 years. Compiled by an editorial staff of superhuman beings, the text provides a comprehensive perspective of human origins, history and destiny. ( 1 reviews ) Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Computer generated text to speech
"Napoleonder", a Russian folk tale about Napoleon's career, and "The Napoleon of the People", a chapter from Balzac's novel The Country Doctor describing French folk beliefs about Napoleon's special powers and destiny. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Folk-Tales of Napoleon, translated by George Kennan (1902)
A digest of Christian teaching from circa AD 60-100. Translated by Isaac Hall and John Napier. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers , Volume 7, edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, American edition, 1886. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7, 1886.
A short medieval treatise on the mystical experience of hearing angels' song, and how to distinguish true mystical experiences from false ones. Topic: Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: The Cell of Self-Knowledge, 1521
This is not so much a sermon on Advent or December, as the old fast of the "Ember Days" that used to be celebrated four times a year. (Zacharias 8:19: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and great solemnities.") The December ones always fell during Advent, of course, thus contributing to the penitential and preparatory... Topics: Spirituality, Audiobook - Nonfiction Source: Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 12, CCEL
A treatise on the validity of using images as an aid to worship by St. John of Damascus (aka St. John Damascene), written while he lived under the second generation of Muslim rule in Syria. But it was also aimed at the Iconoclasts (image-breakers) who controlled the Christian Byzantine Empire at the time, and were not above killing artists. St. John not only points out that icons support the doctrine of the Incarnation -- since God made flesh becomes visible and drawable -- but also that the... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: On holy images, followed by three sermons on the Assumption. Tr. by Mary H. Allies, 1898.
A dialogue between Catherine and God the Father. The second part of the book, "A Treatise on Discretion", discusses how all good things must be done with discretion, which is part of love; how Christ is like a bridge; how virtues and good works should not be done out of fear or as an end in themselves, but out of love; and how the soul should learn to love God unconditionally as a friend and adopted child, not just for God's good gifts. Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism Source: The Dialog of St. Catherine of Siena, CCEL
This excerpt from St. Zeno of Verona's Tractatus talks about the unborn Jesus' time in Mary's womb. (Lib. ii., Tractatus viii. et ix., Patrologia Latina Tom. 11, pp. 413-417.) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers of the First Six Centuries by Thomas Livius, 1893.
If it's easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved, what rich man will be? St. Clement of Alexandria comforts the worried and worries the comfortable in this Early Christian bestseller, which grapples with salvation, trust in God, and perseverance. Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion
Bishop Asterius of Amasea (c. 375-405 AD) talks about Christ's ideas on marriage, the wonderfulness of wives, and why casual divorce is a Bad Idea. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: Ancient Sermons for Modern Times, tr. by Galusha Anderson and Edgar Johnson Goodspeed
After the death of his brother St. Basil the Great, and after being unable to visit his eldest sister St. Macrina and his last surviving brother for eight long years, St. Gregory of Nyssa finally arrived for a visit and found his formidable sister on her deathbed. In an attempt to cheer him up, St. Macrina held a Socratic dialogue with him. He told about this in her biography, but had no space to include it. In this separate work, he does. Of course, both the vagaries of memory and the points... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Translation by William Moore and Henry Austin Wilson, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 2, Volume 5.
An essay from an Early Christian bishop and martyr on the spiritual importance of unity in the Church. It stresses the importance of holding the same doctrine, but also the vital need for love and harmony within and among all Christians. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers
The influential early Christian writer Tertullian gives his thoughts on the virtue of patience. As he freely admit, this is not typecasting. The man had some serious anger issues which do creep out, even here. But as he argues that all evil has its origin in impatience, you may find that today's hurried world tends to prove him right. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna writes to the Church in Philippi. At their request, the subject is righteousness and righteous living. Apparently, this letter was written either shortly before or after St. Ignatius of Antioch's martyrdom, as the Philippians are anxious to read Ignatius' letters and Polycarp is anxious to hear tidings of Ignatius. Way before the Council of Nicaea, though; so listen and find out what Christianity was like towards the end of its first century! Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
The classic handbook for ordinary people who want to live spiritually devout lives continues, with advice on how to resist temptations and constantly renew your commitment to loving and serving God. Book 4 considers how to better resist or avoid temptation, while Book 5 is about increasing virtue and staying committed to a devout life. Continues from IntroDevout and IntroDevout2. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Translation by Fr. Walter J.B. Edwards, 1878.
How ordinary people in any walk of life can begin a life of deeper love of God, through making prayer and service a part of their everyday routines. Francois de Sales was a Catholic missionary and priest working in French and Swiss Calvinist areas. At the time he wrote this book, he had become a bishop. He was also a prolific writer. This audiobook continues as IntroDevout2 . Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Translation by Fr. Walter J.B. Edwards, 1878.
Continuation of the spiritual classic. Book III explores how to develop your character: enhancing your strengths by practicing them, adding the virtues you don't have, and countering your weaknesses and bad tendencies by learning to do better. Part 1 is at IntroDevout. Part 3 continues with Books 4 and 5. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: An Introduction to the Devout Life, ed. by W.J.B. Edwards
From the Acts of St. Brendan of Clonfert (best known for his voyages), a very long and thorough lorica (breastplate) prayer. It is similar to other better-known loricas like the Lorica of St. Patrick, but a lot longer! Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, poetry
The spiritual classic about dark nights of the soul, and how to start to achieve union with God through prayer, begins with a look at the "night of sense". The second book deals with the "night of faith". Then the third book deals with the "night of the memory and will". The final two books of the five book treatise are generally printed separately and called The Dark Night of the Soul . So I have also recorded them separately. favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism
This story from the Book of Daniel is also an early detective story. "Susanna and the Elders", another early detective story, is also included. Both stories appeared in the Septuagint as a prologue to the Book of Daniel, but now generally appear as an appendix. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Mystery Source: The Book of Daniel
Audiobook of an early twentieth century catechetical book explaining the doctrine, prayers, and rubrics of the Latin Rite Mass as promulgated at that time. Most of this applies to both the 1962 Mass used today as the Extraordinary Form, and the post-Vatican II Mass used as the Ordinary Form. (It also applies, in broad outline, to earlier Latin Rite Masses and to Masses in other Rites, of course.) It is particularly interesting to see how the interpretation of certain elements of the Mass has... Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion, spirituality
Transcriptions of a set of class lectures delivered, during the six weeks of Lent, by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (then bishop and patriarch of Jerusalem) to a class of candidates planning on baptism and reception into the Church at Easter. Sometime during the fourth century. At the time these lectures were being given, catechumens and candidates were not allowed to attend the entire Mass, learn many important teachings before being baptized, or disclose Church teachings to outsiders. This was... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. VII
He's talked about why the Gnostics are wrong about God. Now it's time for Irenaeus to talk about what the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition of the Church have to say. Book I Book II Book IV Book V favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers
Book 4, "An Invitation to Holy Communion", examines the vital importance of receiving the Eucharist in a reverent manner, while offering one's whole self up to God. Book 1: Part 1 | Part 2 | Book 2 | Book 3: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Book 4: Part 2 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism
Advice from St. Clement of Alexandria to newly baptized early Christians. Surprisingly to us, he gives as much advice about good manners and healthy psyches as he does good moral behavior. Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion Source: G.W. Butterworth
A theological commentary about the Star of Bethlehem prophecy, claiming that it was preserved in the archives of Eastern kings. It's not really by the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea as it claims to be, but the king lists are interesting. Topics: Audiobook-nonfiction, religion
Against Heresies concludes with a volume on the meaning of Jesus' teachings and Paul's epistles, refuting the rather farfetched readings of the Gnostics. There's plenty of interesting information on the stuff that early Christians did believe, too! Book I , Book II , Book III , and Book IV. favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
A description by early Christians of the death of St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey), in about AD 155. Includes a classic explanation of why a martyr's remains were important, and relates martyrdom to the Eucharistic liturgy. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, history, religion
The second half of The Shepherd of Hermas consists of parables. One of the parables presents a somewhat bizarre version of the Son preexisting His Incarnation as Jesus, but nevertheless shows that early Christians were thinking about the Trinity. Book 1 Book 2: Part 2 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism Source: The Shepherd of Hermas, translated by J.B. Lightfoot
Thoughts on love, forgiveness, and the faithfulness of prophecy from Aphrahat (aka Aphraates), an early Christian known as "the Persian Sage". favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
The conclusion of this audiobook version of this 1903 Catholic textbook on the Latin Rite Mass. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: The Sacrifice of the Mass by M. Gavin, S.J.
Facing martyrdom -- okay, running toward it with open arms -- the old Syrian bishop, once a disciple of the Apostle John, still took time to write letters to the Christians in various cities. Here's the one he wrote to the Church in Rome. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religious Source: Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson
A sermon on the Virgin Mary's death and assumption into Heaven by St. John of Damascus (aka St. John Damascene). favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion Source: On holy images, followed by three sermons on the Assumption. Tr. by Mary H. Allies, 1898.
Excerpts about the Transfiguration of Christ, from Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism Source: Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew by Origen
After the soul has grown in love for God and gotten rid of attachments to things (as described in The Ascent of Mount Carmel in more extended form), it still can't get all the way to union with God, unless God does it Himself. That's what The Dark Night of the Soul is all about. The Ascent of Mount Carmel St. John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz) was a Carmelite monk. He was a friend of St. Teresa of Avila, although they seldom met face to face; and like her, he was dedicated to bringing back... favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism
A dialogue between Catherine and God the Father. The third part of the book, "A Treatise on Prayer", discusses all sorts of things: the value of tears, Communion, priests, a good death, and of course prayer. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 | Part 5 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism Source: The Dialog of St. Catherine of Siena, CCEL
An examination of, and meditation upon, the seven sayings spoken by Jesus on the cross -- aka "the seven last words" -- as well as the associated total solar eclipse. Every saying is examined from different perspectives, each intended to make the reader think more deeply about Jesus' life and death and feel the sayings' applications to his own life. The writer also provides various suggestions for enriching one's faith life and doing good. St. Robert Bellarmine was a famous and... Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion, crucifixion
A short biography of St. Macrina by her brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa. She was born about AD 330, and died in 379. Hugely intelligent, wise, and holy even by the standards of a family full of saints and theologians, St. Macrina the Younger is a fascinating figure. Readers may wish to pause after part 2 of this biography and go listen to "On the Soul and the Resurrection", a deathbed dialogue written down by St. Gregory of Nyssa to record his sister's teachings. Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, Religion, spirituality Source: Translation by W.K. Lowther Clarke, B.D., 1916
A treatise on prayer by a great early Christian theologian from Alexandria. Using prayers from both the Old and New Testament as examples, he creates a primer on what sort of things a Christian should pray for, and how. His primary tool for doing this is a detailed interpretation of the Lord's Prayer. Some of the theology, Biblical interpretation, and Christian practice that he advocates has been developed further since his time. So you may need to take these bits with a grain of salt. But much... Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, spirituality Source: Origen on Prayer, translated by William A. Curtis
On his way to martyrdom in Rome, Bishop Ignatius of Antioch (then in Syria; now Antakya, Turkey) wrote letters to the Church in several cities of the Empire. Seven of these letters survive. By the way, you'll notice that the good bishop is not shy about calling Jesus "God". (So much for that Da Vinci Code silliness....) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
Now that Irenaeus has given us a rundown on Gnostic teachers, beliefs, and practices, he moves to suggesting arguments against such beliefs. These arguments also provide an interesting look at theology in Irenaeus' day. Book I Book III Book IV Book V favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion
The spiritual bestseller from the Middle Ages ends with more advice on how to receive Holy Communion (often, and with feeling), how to ask God for greater devotion, and how to fully appreciate the gift you are receiving. Book 1: Part 1 | Part 2 | Book 2 | Book 3: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Book 4: Part 1 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, mysticism
A dialogue between Catherine and God the Father. The third part of the book, "A Treatise on Obedience", discusses Christ's obedience, the way that obedience enhances other virtues, and how obedience is promoted by the religious life. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 5 Topics: Audiobook - Nonfiction, religion, mysticism Source: The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, CCEL
Not too many years after St. Paul wrote two letters to the Corinthians, the then-bishop of Rome, St. Clement, wrote them a letter also. This extremely early Christian piece of writing is full of interesting stuff about unity and the problems of Christians in Corinth, and much will be found highly relevant to Christians today. Topics: Audiobook - nonfiction, religion, unity